"Care to Care" by Rolly A. Chabot
Good morning all, hope you enjoy the Fireside this morning, especially those who have dropped in from warmer climates. Sorry for the inclement weather we are having but after all it is winter here in Western Canada. The mountains are a sight to behold, not only the tops are white with snow but the entire mountains stand as sentinels. Only showing jagged rock outcroppings and dark gorges. It stirs the blood looking at them. It is like they are calling.
But alas a wise mans sits by the fire and only dreams of the untold mystery they have hidden till a warmer day arrives. Welcome one and all to another day of me rambling. Gather around, collect something warm to drink, take a chair, couch or cushion near the fire and know that you are more than welcome. If nothing else today, take a blessing with you and know you have left one with me. Know that you are loved.
We are not Alone
I have been reflecting a great deal these past few days on life and what I see happening all around us, especially in the bigger cities where saying hello to someone may get you in some deep trouble.
How far have we really drifted from common, ordinary daily communications with other people around us. I live in a small community where we know the guy across town, the names of his children and yes even the family pets names. A place where we gather at the four way stop to see who cheats and pulls out before it is their turn. A place where you say hello to everyone and the meeting place for conversation is the Church of choice and the lobby of the Post Office or simply out on the street. A place where neighbours take the time to visit and swat misquotes in the summer and help shovel each others snow in the winter.
Yet I still ask myself the same question. How well do I know everyone? We have become a very guarded society today. I mean when I go to the cities people are plugged into all sorts of devices. Phones, wires hanging from ears, books, personal reading devices. To me it is an indication of just how unplugged we have come from each other. It is sad to think of people torn apart on the inside and having no place to connect with people.
We are all guilty of wearing masks in the real world. A common question when we see friends "How are you doing? The common answer, "Great." But really down deep inside, the place we have it all hidden, are we willing to share what we are really feeling or have we become like this rusty old barb wire sitting on a post. Have we become so distant that we care not to share our struggles. Do we have such a defence built around ourselves we will not let anyone in. Or worse yet not care about the needs of others and what they may be facing.
Take the Time to Look
We have all played the blame game. You know where we say it is all their fault. Make excuses that say it was my parents, my family, classmates, past relationships. Any of the above can take the blame and we feel better in say so and point fingers freely. Point at someone else and say its all your fault. Now stop and look at your hand and realize something very important. Yes one finger is pointing in their direction but there are three pointing right back at you. We can easily judge can we not.
Keep in mind when we judge we become the experts at another persons downfall. Think about this seriously when you judge, 'Is it possible the judgement you are casting out is something you see in yourself and it makes you feel good to point it out in others. How quickly we can jump to conclusions in other people and avoid dealing with our own baggage. An old Indian proverb states "Do not judge until you have walked a mile in my moccasins."
What is the solution really? Is it possible we need to look deep within ourselves and quit feeling sorry for the "Me in Me." Maybe time to start to look at the need of others. Random acts of kindness warm the heart and refresh the mind telling us just how fortunate we really are. Take a look around yourself and ask yourself honestly, "Could what I see in others be something I see in myself as well?
Love and Caring
For some of us we have been where this man finds himself. For me it is a stark reminder of another life. A life lost in the addictions of alcohol and drugs. A time so painful because I closed the door to the entire world. It was not until I accepted the fact I was powerless over either that I accepted help. Have I gone without, certainly it s in the darkest times you dig deep within and accept where you are and start the long slow climb back. It was thanks to God, Family and some very dear friends I was able to remain sober for the past 36 years.
Again I ask, how is it we can pass by someone and not reach out in love and compassion and help. I know we have all been burnt in our efforts to help but know one thing for certain even the smallest act of kindness or smile can make a huge difference to those in need. That change you have in your pocket that you slip into a jar when you get home at night could be the difference in a meal for that person. If you are in doubt what your gift will be used for take a chance and offer to buy a meal for them. Better yet slip in to a fast food outlet and buy them a meal and simply give it to them.
I have met some incredible people over my years of reaching out. Once trust has been established you soon learn of a life of devastation that has brought on the situation they find themselves in. Who knows maybe your caring enough may be just the little boost they need to start the journey back. For me it was one person who took the time to listen. A interesting thing happens when you share from the heart and accept responsibility, hearing yourself speak gives you new hope. I recall asking that same person a year later what I could do to pay back the favour. Their response was simple, "Rolly just do the same when your heart calls you to reach out to another who has been where have. The greatest gift you can give is love and hope."
We send millions away to other countries, the need is great and I support several children in under privileged countries. It is a blessing to get letters and watch the children grow and hear from them. Let us never forget we have great need right here in our own cities and nations. I have followed the economy of both the US and Canada these past years and we are in trouble.
We have developed all sorts of agencies and social programs to help those in need and been witness to the abuse of people who are just to lazy to work. The machine is huge and yet how is it we can change their lives. A hard question to answer and even harder to watch our taxpayer dollars being squandered and abused. Maybe we have become so hardened we just simply close a blind eye to it. Does it mean everyone is the same? No not in the least, there are those out there who simply need a hug and some encouragement. We can enter the scene far before it gets to a place of desperation just by listening, loving and caring.
Once a person has reached a place of hitting the bottom, it is then and only then he can come to appreciate the simplest things in life like a kind word, a hot coffee on a cold day or the warmth of the fire I have burning here right now. An interesting survey here in Canada asked people how much they are planning on spending for gifts this year. A staggering figure of between 800 and 1500 dollars is what they have come up with. Think of what could be done with that money to help others, rather than on some silly gifts.
If you can not help financially, there are several options for us to take a look at. All our cities and towns have food banks. Consider helping out there. Workers are always needed.
Visit people who are shut ins or are alone. Deliver a meal to a family across the street who have just moved in and say hello. Turn around and smile at the person behind you and just say hello. Help at a centre who feed the homeless. Check on the Internet and find a society who are looking for volunteers to help in a worthy cause. Sit down and write a heartfelt letter to someone who has hurt you or whom you have hurt. Forgive and be forgiven. The possibilities, well lets just say "Limits exist only in our minds." Anything is possible with love.
Remember the hand who helps may also be the hand who seeks help someday. It can happen to us all. Take the time this year not only at this time of year but all year to make a difference in another life. The greatest blessing of helping others is knowing you have been blessed in return.
In closing I recall a mission statement I took on several years ago. "The road I have travelled has led me to where I find myself today." Would I change anything, no not really but from the journey I have learned I am loved and in return I choose to offer that same love back to all who are willing to receive. Seek daily the chance to make the difference in the place we call life.
Above all else know that each and everyone of you are loved at the Fireside. Blessings and many hugs for reading my ramblings.
© Rolly A. Chabot
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